Can city development be environmentally friendly and how can we reduce its negative effects? How can we balance mobility and sustainability? These and other questions were discussed at the conference day “Det grønne skiftet” last Friday, September, 23rd.
Text: Marina Borovaya
The majority of discussion participants were members of the Bachelor’s Degree Program “Community Planning and Cultural Understanding”, but everyone interested in sustainable development was welcome.
Torill Nyseth, Professor for Community Planning at the UiT, was in charge of the conference and opened the discussion about city development. She pointed out that the densification of traffic, relating to the needs of the private market, constitutes a serious threat for the environment.
Milan Dunderovic, a community planner of the Rambøll Group, in turn, presented the concept of “Liveable Cities”, which touches upon multiple city planning aspects such as ecology, functionality, culture and infrastructure.
Later on, Mette Mohåg, a representative of the municipality of Tromsø, presented the city’s future expansion plan. The plan allows to reduce the amount of cars in the city center by increasing the use of public transport as well as implementing separate cycle paths.
After lunch, it was discussed whether it is possible to combine functionality and sustainability within the city planning process. Additionally, it was argued how expanding business interests contribute to the emergence of environmental issues. Several student presentations enriched the discussion and were followed by a theme quiz. Later on, the participants set off to the Akademika Bookstore, where the book “Creative Approaches to Planning and Local Development. Insights from Small and Medium-Sized Towns” was presented.
At the end of the day, everyone was invited to an informal meeting and pizza downtown.